Air Force Chief says gender doesn’t matter as he oversees female-only recruitment program

Air Marshall Leo Davies is the Chief of Air Force. He’s the smiley bloke below:

Leo Davies

And he’s quoted on the Air Force webpage devoted to diversity and other inanity as saying this:

We want them to know that their height, religious background, skin colour, gender or specialisation doesn’t matter. Everyone gets a fair go at a rewarding career.

It all sounds rather nice. But it, to be polite, is a load of codswallop and he knows it.

When it comes to height, the RAAF does have restrictions:

Height & BMI

Screenshot of the Defence Recruiting webpage detailing height restrictions for RAAF pilots.

So regardless of what the Chief of Air Force said about height not mattering, it does.

And when it comes to gender, it also has restrictions:

Female graduate program

Screenshot of Defence Recruiting webpage detailing that the Graduate Pilot Scheme is only open to females.

So, again, regardless of what the Chief of Air Force said about gender not mattering, it does. If you are of the female persuasion, the RAAF will allow you to join via its Graduate Pilot Scheme. But if you are challenged in the area of being female, well then it’s stiff bickies.

All of this just goes to show that the language of diversity is entirely meaningless. It makes people, like the bloke running our Air Force, look stupid.

Furthermore, this stupidity is increased because one of these restrictions makes sense. And one does not.

If you are too big to fit into the cockpit of an F-18 then there’s not really much point or purpose in having the RAAF train you to fly an F-18. Hence the reasons there are height and weight restrictions for those seeking to become a pilot in the Air Force.

I don’t know why the Chief of Air Force feels the necessity to pretend that these restrictions don’t exist but, then again, I am not into this whole diversity thing.

I can only put it down to the possibility that in this brave new world of diversity people somehow feel so embarrassed by saying no that they choose to say yes instead.

However, despite the fact that the Chief of Air Force seems hesitant to acknowledge that there are, in fact, height restrictions for the RAAF, these restrictions make sense.

The same cannot be said about the gender restrictions for the ‘Graduate Pilot Scheme’.

A cockpit of an F-18 (or any other plane) does not restrict females in general and nor does it restrict males. Although it must be noted (and the Australian Human Rights Commission has) that a greater proportion of males have the height and weight characteristics required to fly these things than females. According to the Human Rights Commission it is a sign of entrenched discrimination against women by those who design combat aircraft.

But given that fact, if there was going to be a gender-based restriction on pilot entry programs it would actually make sense for the RAAF to prefer males.

But the RAAF has done the opposite. It’s lost its mind over females which seems to make it a particularly masculine organisation, even if it is doing its best to pretend otherwise.

Given all of this, it is entirely unsurprising that the Australian Human Rights Commission has latched onto the Graduate Pilot Scheme and called for the RAAF to, firstly, continue the program and, secondly, monitor its effectiveness.

Normally I would have thought that you would assess effectiveness before deciding to continue with a program. But, then again, I don’t work at the Human Rights Commission either so am really in no place to make an informed judgement on its upside down and back-to-front thought processes.

However, it should be noted that this program was born from an understanding that females training to become pilots ‘hated’ uniforms and ‘hated’ the idea of providing a fixed period of service to the RAAF (known as a ROSO – Return of Service Obligation). And they also still wouldn’t join even if they could train without signing up to either of those things.

So the RAAF decided to chip in to pay for their degrees. And pay them as well.

That seems like a real winner and a grand total of three women signed up for the package in 2014/15. I’m not sure how many have signed up since. It might be seven…

This is what female pilots told the Australian Human Rights Commission about this program:

With the graduate pilot scheme…there were two…hurdles for women in military aviation. One is military and one is aviation. So rather than take girls off the street who then had to battle military and aviation we just targeted one group…women who were already studying aviation, have an established support network and…they have that confidence.

So we looked at them and went well what would it take for you to join and one was they hated the ROSO and they hated the uniform. So if we get rid of the ROSO, the uniform might be a bit harder. So that’s how we did it but they still weren’t wanting to apply so then you had to incentivise it which is how we got the funding for Air Force to then give them back, when they graduate as a military pilot they then get all their tuition fees and university accredited and reimbursed, so that was that in a nutshell.

And that, right there, is how government decisions to spend millions of your dollars are made.

The RAAF ‘Graduate Pilot Program’ has been designed to chase people who don’t like the uniform, don’t like the service conditions and are still only interested in insignificant numbers even if you pay them a king’s ransom.

And they must be female because even though the Chief of Air Force says gender doesn’t matter, it does if you’re into ticking diversity boxes instead of winning wars.

To cap it all off, male pilots who are required to sign on for ten years of their life after they complete their training are labelled by the Human Rights Commission as ‘trouble makers’ for failing to understand that women need special measures for ‘equality’:

Some male pilot trainees reported that the initiative provided an unfair advantage to women pilots…One way that Air Force leaders could communicate measures such as the reduced ROSO, is in terms that explain substantive equality. Women are disadvantaged unless there are special measures that give them time out of the workforce to have a family.

Gender doesn’t matter in the RAAF? Pull the other one Leo Davies. After all, you’re the one obeying orders from the Human Rights Commission to give people special deals based entirely on the fact that they are not male…

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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